Buffalo Weekly Art Voice has an interesting piece about the obstacles Anti-Poverty workers face in caring for the poor as their ranks swell.
Author Bruce Fisher points out that experts in the area have determined that the stimulus will have no impact on the region’s long term problems, unless it is tackled through a region approach.
Anti-Poverty workers are already battling uphill, with more and more families falling under federal guidelines for low-income.
Adding to the insult, county legislator Robert Reynolds deferred to public employees rather than casting the vote that would have consolidated land-use planning for the region.
“Did the one single county legislator whose vote was needed, whose vote could have broken the county executive’s insane endorsement of regional economic death, really think that he would get the town elected officials (most of them allies of the county executive) to break ranks?,” Fisher writes.
“The 25 towns, 16 villages, and three cities inside Erie County are all empowered to do lots of things on their own. That’s how it’s always been around here in the 1,000 square miles of our county. We started evolving toward regional governance in the 1950s, but that evolution stopped when the towns and villages and cities all stayed put even after the county legislature and executive system was instituted in 1960.”
I hope anti-poverty workers in Buffalo and throughout the Rust Belt don’t give up. They’re needed so badly.